Bentley Motors revealed a new connectivity concept for its flagship Mulsanne sedan at the Frankfurt Motor Show today. The company built two iPads with Apple Bluetooth Keyboards into the retractable "picnic tables" mounted in front of both rear passengers, and a 15.6" LCD screen that flips down from the roof of the car.

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The additions to the Mulsanne are intended to allow passengers to "conduct business on the move or just unwind between meetings". Alasdair Stewart, Member of the Board for Sales & Marketing, comments:

Many customers use their time in the Mulsanne to keep on top of their business commitments or simply take a few moments to relax. This fully functioning concept highlights the Mulsanne’s potential to help busy executives to communicate effectively and quickly whilst travelling. As you would expect from Bentley, all these features work in harmony with the handcrafted cabin and can be displayed or hidden at the user’s discretion.

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The concept includes:

Key entertainment and business features

- Two electric-powered, foldable wood veneer picnic tables in the rear cabin, each with Apple iPad and Apple Bluetooth keyboards.
- The twin iPads enable the Apple Media Centre to play video files and music, provide access to personal and work e-mail as well as the internet (via W-Lan).
- Apple Mini Mac stored in boot compartment enables integration of iPad with Bluetooth keyboard and iPod acts as control panel in rear console.
- Roof console with 15.6 inch High Definition LED dropdown monitor. Plays videos (from both DVD changer and Mac Mini) and watch Television.

Comfort, control and stowage features

- Illuminated rear centre console fitted with twin, individual armrests offers true, spacious 4-seat configuration.
- Rear console also houses Apple iPod (control panel), two cupholders, tissue box and large stowage area.
- Apple iPod controls – Rear Seat Entertainment (RSE) and audio system, Apple Media Centre, plays music and access to internet.
- Two USB connectors provided for the Apple system and one Apple interface connector for the iPod.
- Bespoke control keys on rear console operate picnic tables, reading lights, control HD LED screen and select video and audio options.
- Armrest contains Tibaldi pen and Privacy Telephone handset.
- Bespoke bottle cooler in rear centre console with illuminated, double-glazed frosted glass door.
- Additional, multi-directional reading lights are provided for each rear passenger and can be operated with Apple devices.
- Sophisticated mood lighting in the rear centre console (using multiple soft glowing LEDs) ensures the stowage areas are lit and the docking station and cupholders are also illuminated for extra convenience.

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Availability and pricing of the concept weren't detailed. The Bentley Mulsanne starts at $291,295.

Top Rated Comments

Yvan256 Avatar
164 months ago
That's a bit expensive for a Mac mini mount.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vrDrew Avatar
164 months ago
I know this is exciting for Apple fans who want Apple gear, but for $300,000 isn't it a bit surprising that this car has 'off the shelf' electronics rather than some in-house Bentley electronics solution?

Bentley doesn't reinvent the wheel.

Just for argument's sake, how much do you think it would cost for Bentley to create an "in-house" tablet solution? $50 million? A hundred?

And then, what operating system would it use? One that Bentley created, that had no apps its customers could use?

For years automakers used proprietary car stereo systems and components, and people hated them. You can thank the iPod for coming along and ensuring that most decent car stereos these days have (at least) a line-in jack - if not complete Bluetooth and/or 30-pin connectivity.

Lastly, its worth noting that the car shown is a Concept Car, meaning its not in current serial production. And that the iPads and Mac Mini don't come standard with your regular $300,000 Mulsanne. On the other hand, Bentley does offer extensive customizing (they call it Bespoke) options and services. So, if you are prepared to write a check for an extra $50 or $100 thousand - you can have whatever tablet computer you want in the back seats.

But somehow I don't think anyone other than the Chairman of Samsung is going to order one with Galaxy Tabs built in.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Carlanga Avatar
164 months ago
So I have to drag my MBA into the car to sync/restore these built-in iPads? Assuming I could afford a Bentley, that is.

iOS 5 AND there is a Mini in the car just in case also... ;)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
7o7munoz7o7 Avatar
164 months ago
So I have to drag my MBA into the car to sync/restore these built-in iPads? Assuming I could afford a Bentley, that is.

Why not use the Mac Mini......
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wordoflife Avatar
164 months ago
I would hope a car priced at $291 295 would have those features.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lesser Evets Avatar
164 months ago
Put in a couple potty seats back there and it's worth the price: you can use it as a home. Dining is continual drive through, purge on the move, you have computers, phones, TV... trunk for clothes. Shower in the car wash. DONE.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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